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AARON SEXTON SMASHES UNDER 20 RECORD AS LOCAL ATHLETES IMPRESS AT IRISH SCHOOLS

04 June 2018

AARON SEXTON SMASHES UNDER 20 RECORD AS LOCAL ATHLETES IMPRESS AT IRISH SCHOOLS

Aaron Sexton smashed Jason Smyth’s 12 year old Northern Ireland Under 20 100m record as local athletes secured titles, Championship records and personal bests at the Irish Life Irish Schools Athletics Championships this weekend (Saturday 2nd June 2018).

Davicia Patterson, Brendan O’Donnell, Sommer Lecky, Jai Benson, Holly Mulholland and Conor Crowe also excelled during a pulsating day of competition, which saw athletes from NI & Ulster leave Tullamore with no less than 19 titles.

Aaron Sexton (Bangor Grammar) was crowned ‘male athlete of the meet’ after completing the Senior Boys 100m and 200m double with exceptional times of 10.52 in the 100m, a Championship best performance (CBP) and 21.12 in the 200m. It was far from an exhibition though, with David McDonald (Wexford CBS) finishing as runner up in both races – David clocked the same time in the 100m (which put both athletes 14th on the Irish senior all-time list).  Michael McCauley (St Louis Ballymena) had a breakthrough personal best in the same race with 10.71.

Davicia Patterson (Hunterhouse), who broke the NI Under 20 record (of 53.64) just last week, continued her fine form, clocking a Championship record of 53.90 to win the Senior Girls 400m.  In the Senior Hammer (6kg), Brendan O’Donnell (St Eunan’s Letterkenny) narrowly missed the IAAF World Junior Championships standard as he landed a 65.64m effort for the win.

Sommer Lecky (Strabane Academy) won the Senior Girls High Jump with a leap of 1.79m, while Jai Benson (St Malachy’s AC) claimed the Senior Triple Jump title with 14.01m; he also picked up a silver in the Long Jump having reached 6.68m.

James Kelly (Royal & Prior Raphoe) led the way in the Senior Boys Shot Putt with a best of 16.88m.  Belfast High School pair Iona MacPherson and Ellie McCartney impressed with gold medals in the Senior Triple Jump and Pole Vault respectively.  Iona leaped to 11.31m for the win, while Ellie cleared 3.60 for victory.

Oscar Yandall (Campbell College) won the Senior Javelin (800g) competition with a throw of 45.50m.

Also in the Senior category, Belfast school St Malachy’s were rewarded for a day of top quality performances when they won overall team competition and were presented with the College of Science trophy for the first time in their history. 

In the Intermediate category, there was gold medal winning performances by Holly Mulholland (Lismore Comp Craigavon), Conor Crowe (St Patrick’s Keady), Rachel McCann (Sullivan Upper), Harriet Platt (Strathearn Belfast) and Miceal McCaul (St Colman’s Newry).

Holly impressed as she raced to victory in the 80m hurdles, clocking 11.62.  Conor was also in top form as he blasted his way to gold in the 100m, running 10.98.  Rachel won the 300m in 40.14, while Miceal won the 3,000m in 9:05.39 - in the field, Harriet won the Triple Jump with 10.96m.

There were at least 6 titles for local athletes in the Junior category. Dylan McBride (Grosvenor Grammar) edged a close 1500m race in 4:20.25, while in the 800m, Cameron McCaughey (Down High School) won in 2:02.08.  Ballymena Academy won the 4 x 100m in 47.09.

Meanwhile, in the field, Anna McKinty of Strathearn Belfast struck gold in the Triple Jump having reached 10.66m.  Abbie O’Neill of Belfast Royal Academy won the Pole Vault with 2.60m and Adrienne Gallen (St Columbas Stranolar) sealed victory in the Hammer (2.5kg) with a 50.89m effort; Adrienne also claimed silver in the Shot Putt (2.72kg) with 11.50m.  In the Boy’s Hammer (4kg), Jude McCrossan (Deele Col Raphoe) won with 44.88m.

In the Minor age category, Ross Stevenson (Cullybackey College) showed his potential with a 12.03 finish to win the 100m.  There was also a gold medal for Tandragee JHS in the 4 x 100m – they crossed the line in 48.74.

To catch up on the excellent performances of all the local athletes in action at the event, please click HERE for the results.

Elsewhere this weekend…

Leon Reid helps Birchfield Harriers to maximum points in British Athletics League:

In Cardiff, Leon Reid helped his Birchfield Harriers team to maximum points in the British Athletics League fixture (Saturday 2nd June 2018).  The team captain led by example as he stormed to victory in both the 100m and 200.

In the 100, Leon ran 10.58, while in the 200m, the Commonwealth Games bronze medallist broke the beam in 20.78.

There was also local representation at the British Athletics League fixture in Portsmouth (Saturday 2nd June 2018).

Conall Kirk (Annadale Striders) won the men’s 800m in a time of 1:51.95. Over 1500m, McCartan (East Down AC) and Neil Johnston (Springwell RC) recorded 3:56.16 and 3:56.62 respectively. In a tactical 5,000m race, Chris Madden of City of Lisburn AC ran 15:16.

Local athletes impress in Belgium:

A number of local athletes were in action at the Putbos Leon Buyle Memorial Meet in Belgium (Saturday 2nd June 2018).

Craig Newell (Ballymena & Antrim AC) won his 400m race in a seasons best of 47.72.  Andrew Mellon (Crusaders AC) and Ryan Keenan (City of Lisburn AC) were also competing over 400, with Andrew recording 47.96 and Ryan 51.70.

Jason Harvey (Crusaders AC) clocked 51.94 for a podium place in his 400m hurdles event, while in the 1500m, Kelly Neely (City of Lisburn AC) ran 4:20.19.

Adam McMullen competes at prestigious Golden Fly Series:

Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games athlete Adam McMullen (Crusaders AC) was in competition at the prestigious Golden Fly Series (Long Jump) event in Austria (Saturday 2nd June 2018).

Adam best effort of the competition, which was held in an atmospheric City Centre location, was 7.40m.  The Crusaders AC man will now look towards a competition in Prague during the early part of this week.

Arona Combined Events International:

Commonwealth Youth Games 100m hurdler Anna McCauley (Maureen McCauley) finished second in the U18 Heptathlon in Arona. Anna posted a number of good performances including a personal best Long Jump of 5.70 (0.0) on her way to 5060 points which is a personal best by over 350 points.

Dan Tanui smashes Walled City Marathon course record:

Dan Tanui (Project Africa Athletics) retained his Walled City Marathon title with a record breaking performance (Sunday 3rd June 2018).

Dan beat his Project Africa team mate and Belfast Marathon winner Eric Keoch to win in a new course record of 2:19:44 (1st place). Eric took the runners up spot in 2:25:29 (2nd place), with Thomas Maguire (Unattached) completing the top three in 2:46:40 (3rd place).

In the ladies race, Irish athlete Heather Noone emerged victorious after coming through late on to win in 3:05:33 (1st place).  Louise Smith (North Belfast Harriers) followed in 3:10:14 for 2nd place and was followed across the line by Denise Ward – the Foyle Valley AC lady received the cheer of the day as she crossed the line in 3:18:18 for 3rd place. Full results for the Walled City Marathon 2018 are available HERE.

World Masters Mountain Running Championships 2018:

Jim Patterson (Newcastle AC) and Gillian Wasson (Ballymena Runners) picked up individual medals as a number of local athletes raced against the best veteran athletes in the world at this weekend’s WMRA / WMA World Masters Mountain Running Championships in Zelezniki, Slovenia.

In the Vet70 men’s race, Jim Patterson again showed his class with a strong performance to secure 2nd place and the associated silver medal.  Jim completed the 7.2k course (which included 869m of ascent) in 1:06:23.

Over the same course, Ballymena Runners athlete Gillian Wasson also performed to an exceptionally high standard, clocking an impressive 56:46 to claim 3rd place in the Vet40 ladies event.

NIMRA men narrowly miss podium place at Home International:

A team from Northern Ireland Mountain Running Association (NIMRA) narrowly missed a podium spot as they claimed 4th place at the British Athletics Home International Mountain Running Championships in Sedbergh, Cumbria (Saturday 2nd June 2018).

The race also incorporated the British Athletics World Mountain Running Championships trials, which meant a highly competitive field took part.

The 10.4k course, which incorporated 780m of ascent covered the Southern Howgill Fells above Sedbergh.

Zak Hanna (Newcastle AC) led the team home in 50:14, which was enough to see him secure 9th place overall and 3rd place in the Under 23 race.

Established international Gavin Mulholland (Calder Valley FR) followed in 53:34 for 22nd place, before Scotland based athlete Ryan Stewart (Shettleston Harriers) crossed the line less than a minute later in 54:31 (25th place).  Team Captain David Hicks (Newcastle AC) recorded 56:36 for 33rd place, while international debutant John McKee (Annadale Striders) finished in 57:18 for 35th place.

In the team competition, the NIMRA men claimed 4th place, just one point away from Wales, who secured 3rd place.